Fourteen years ago, I was invited to a farewell party a friend was hosting for quite a large number of friends and acquaintances. I had never been to her house before, and that evening, as we were escorted to the large terrace where drinks and snacks were being served, I had no idea what was in store.
I still remember the feeling I experienced the first time I looked at the breathtaking view from that terrace: the deep blue sea surrounded by green hills, islands in the distance, a gorgeous sky. I remained still for a few minutes, just admiring the beauty that seemed to appear almost out of nowhere. I wasn’t the only one: most of the other guests also took time to lean on the banister and comment on the view.
Shortly afterwards, the house with the spectacular view became my home. Due to an amazing series of events, we actually happened to rent that very property just a couple of months after that memorable “first encounter” at the farewell party!
During the course of 14 years living there, we’ve hosted seminars and summer camps and received streams of visitors from all around the world—and they, too, always end up at the terrace, gazing in awe at the same breathtaking view as I had done. They’re out there enjoying the view, even late at night and early in the morning, and I relive through them the excitement I also experienced that first time.
I wish I could say that I maintained that sense of awe, but I confess that I’ve grown familiar with the view. I guess it’s just part of human nature; it happens in relationships, with the material comforts we enjoy, and even in our spiritual lives. We start taking things for granted and get used to their beauty or usefulness and eventually just grow numb to them. This brought to mind the verse, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.”1
Sometimes that restoration happens when you watch it happening in others or you help others discover it for the first time. But however it happens, it’s helpful to find ways in our own lives to appreciate and treasure that freshness and sense of wonder.
We’ll soon be moving to another house—and sure enough, I find myself spending more time on the balcony taking in the view.
- Psalm 51:12